Saturday, April 25, 2015
I teach six art classes per day with a 5 minute transition in between. I'm naturally pretty organized but I've found I have to be even more organized now that I teach art. So, I set up all the supplies I need sorted by grade level on a back counter. I can quickly grab whatever I need and pass it out. The students know where to get supplies as needed which helps a lot. For paint, if there are certain colors that they will all be using for their project, I pre-pour them in take-out sauce containers with lids that I pick up from a restaurant supply company in my neighborhood. I like having the lids because I don't have to do set up every day since the paint doesn't dry up. I do the same thing with liquid water colors. I place them in some old tempera cake trays or muffin tins for easy distribution and clean up. I also put whatever book I'm reading to a particular grade level with the needed art supplies.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Just a quick note to say "thank you" to my dad for building this awesome cabinet for my classroom. I have been looking for an organized way for the students to store their homework notebooks and this is the perfect solution. The other half holds writing supplies for workshop and affirmation station time.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Here are a few pictures of my classroom this year. It is similar to what I have done in the past but I got rid of some things (like my giant teacher desk) and organized even more to make it feel more open.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
When I first started teaching I knew I wanted the students to have a comfortable place to relax and read. The problem, as with most new teachers, is there is so much I wanted and needed to buy for my class that I could not afford to buy anything fancy. But, I came up with a solution that has worked just as well. In the former school I worked in, two of the teachers had taken an old gymnastics mat, folded it up, and covered it in a sheet to create a "couch" of sorts. With that idea in mind, I bought a cheap infant crib mattress and covered it in a primary colored polka-dot sheet with the matching pillows from Target. For the back of the "couch" I used a long body pillow also from Target. As an added bonus, the "couch" is super easy to clean - throw the sheets and pillows in the washer and the crib mattress is bleachable. The colors of the "couch" match perfectly to my favorite library boxes that I purchased from Steps to Literacy. I love the boxes because I can sort the library books by theme and into fiction and non-fiction categories. It helps teach the students responsibility and organization skills as they are responsible for ensuring the books go back to the right box. Because the boxes are labeled, they also add to the print-rich environment I mentioned in my post about shoeboxes and labeling everything.
If you've ever been in my classroom or seen pictures of it, you know I like to keep things organized. One of the easiest ways to keep a classroom organized is by storing things in plastic shoeboxes. Mostly I use the shoeboxes for math manipulatives but I also use them to store indoor recess games, magnetic letters, markers, etc. I have a box for everything - I even have a box of "party supplies." As a teammate of mine said, only I would have a party supply box but it does come in handy when a well-meaning parent brings a birthday cake at the end of the day for their child but forgets to bring something to cut it with or serve it on...we've all been there, right? A key to keeping things organized is labeling. I label everything...no, really...I label everything. I tend to use Avery Full Sheet labels because I can create any size that I need. Although I use clear boxes and the labeling isn't necessary for me to find things, labeling creates a print-rich environment for the students. Not only can the students see the objects, they see the matching word and soon the words become a part of their sight-word memory. It also creates a great word bank for the students to use when they are writing.